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Noisy lathe bearings fixed – Woodturning by Terry Vaughan

My spindle lathe is a Tyme Classic, a good quality cast iron machine that I have used for many years now. Some time ago, it developed noisy lathe bearings and I replaced them. It was a fairly straightforward job. But it was not easy to dismantle the components as the pulley had seized on the shaft. Those bearings were poorer quality and after a while they became noisy too. So I dismantled it all once more (it was easier this time). I put in some SKF bearings, which are as good as any. All was well.

Bearing misaligned

But recently the noise returned. On investigation I found that if I slackened the retaining ring at the spindle nose the noise disappeared. But when tightened up again the noise came back. It was an alignment problem, but I couldn’t work out how to fix it. Noisy lathe bearings are a real nuisance. You want to concentrate on the turning, and a good lathe is a quiet one. The noise was quite disturbing when running the lathe at normal speed. I had to do something, but what?

Hit it with a mallet

Today I consulted Derek Pyatt, at Pyatt Woodworking. He┬áspecialises in woodworking machinery of this kind, although he was not very familiar with the Classic. It’s quite an uncommon lathe. Derek advised me to put on the faceplate, run the lathe, and hit the centre of the faceplate with a mallet. That should seat and align the bearings properly. That is what I did, and after a couple of bangs the noise was much reduced. So thank you Derek! Now if only it would work on the dust extractor!